Smart-grid technologies will dismantle the regulated utility business model, says economist Lynne Kiesling.
Michael T. Burr
When consultants start talking about creating new service models, the eyes of utility executives and regulators tend to glaze over. But that is destined to change, according to Lynne Kiesling, a Ph.D. economist and senior lecturer at Northwestern University. The primary reason: smart metering.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) introduced wholesale market competition in 1996, following the organizational change of ERCOT from a pure reliability council to an independent system operator (ISO) the same year. This makes ERCOT one of the earliest adopters of competitive electric markets. Stakeholders and regulators in ERCOT are trying to work out the details of implementing this market.
A survey finds that consumers would support higher costs of “clean coal” and alternative fuels.
Gregory E. Aliff and Branko Terzic
More than three quarters of the consumers surveyed believe that alternative energy brought benefits, and a slight majority, 54 percent, would pay an additional 5 percent on their electric bills. The survey also found that 62 percent would be willing to pay higher rates to support “clean-coal” technologies
A look at due diligence for energy transactions, and at what’s driving them.
By the end of last year, much was being made of the failed attempts at multibillion-dollar mergers by FPL with Constellation, Exelon with PSEG, and Southern Co. with Progress Energy. In spite of the repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act, these mega-mergers still required regulatory approvals from multiple state and federal agencies, and their high profiles attracted attention and resistance from a vast array of special interests.
As if carbon control were a fait accompli, gen developers skew the queue toward renewable projects, driving new policy on transmission pricing.
Bruce W. Radford
Now at last, in a region other than California, we can see clearly that renewable mandates and fears of carbon taxes have influenced the power-plant development cycle. Moreover, this effect is helping to drive policy proposals for the pricing of transmission service and the recovery of costs for grid upgrades deemed necessary to bring the new plants on line.
Will 2007 be remembered as the year of the turnaround? Several new CEOs with bold transformation programs took top spots in our third annual ranking.
(September 2007) Consistent performance over time is the Holy Grail of corporate management, and a focus of many of the executives who made this year’s ranking. Who returned to the list, and who fell off? And more important, why?
How does the modified Dupont Model reward utilities?
Jean Reaves Rollins
(September 2007) The impact of dividend policies, capital expenditures, and publicly traded equities highlights an in-depth look at what goes into the modified Dupont Model behind the Fortnightly 40 financial rankings for utilities.
(September 2007) A senior executive at Accenture broadens the financial metrics behind the Fortnightly 40 to expound on the high performance behind this year’s ratings—and show the way for utilities aspiring to make the list in future years.
Utility commissions are responding to their constituents by dramatically increasing emphasis on funding for energy-efficiency and demand-response programs. They believe—and expect—advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) will contribute substantially to both areas.
The complex process of selecting an AMI system takes considerable time, goes through distinct phases, and is subject to outside influences that will interrupt progress. The authors list several success factors that must be addressed to avoid the risks of poor choices, ruined budgets, and failed implementation.
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